The True Meaning of Memorial Day!
I felt overwhelmed by this tremendous honor to address a room full of heroes, and I eagerly began planning my trip!
When I arrived at Walter Reed, a young man who had the responsibility of giving me a tour of the facility, and escorting me to the meeting room greeted me. While being introduced, I looked around at these amazing young men and women and was stunned by the severity of their injuries. During my presentation, I was having difficulty keeping my emotions in check. As a physically challenged person, I know what many in the audience were feeling, and I was so inspired by the courage they demonstrated.
Finding Courage Through Adversity
One young soldier seated in a wheelchair had captured my attention first with his bright smile, and then I noticed he was missing both arms below the elbow, and his entire right leg. Next to him was a female who I assumed was a staff member. At the conclusion of my program, I learned that this woman was not an employee, but the mother of the soldier. The young man introduced himself, and with the stump of his right arm, gave me a unique high five. Since I used my right hand that has a single finger, we shared a hearty laugh at our high one! During our conversation, I ask him where he found the courage to face this life-changing experience. His answer continues to inspire me today. He said, “I guess a broken spirit is worse than a broken body!”
Most of us will never have to endure the type of adversity this soldier has experienced. However, no one goes through life unscathed by challenges. As we navigate the inevitable challenges and setbacks that life brings, it is important to remember that what is inside of you is more powerful than what comes against you.
Honoring Our Fallen Heroes This Memorial Day
As we observe Memorial Day, let us not allow the true meaning to be overshadowed by the mega-store sales, the BBQ’s, and the long-awaited three-day weekend. We are very fortunate to enjoy these activities because of the heroic bravery and sacrifice of the men and women in our military. Memorial Day was established for honoring these brave soldiers who paid the ultimate price to ensure our liberty. Let’s not forget to take this weekend as an opportunity to pause, and extend our gratitude for those who died while protecting our great nation!